Using an affiliate program is a proven way to generate word of mouth and higher-quality leads. Affiliate marketing is a low-cost yet highly effective way for e-commerce and Software as a Service (SaaS) companies to generate brand awareness and attract new users to your platform. 

Your program is only as good as your affiliates. Facilitating dialogue with your current affiliates can help you understand how your program is working and give you valuable information to attract more partners. Read on and learn how to survey affiliates and use the feedback to improve your business. 

Why You Should Survey Your Affiliates

The biggest reason for regularly surveying your affiliates is that it allows you to stay on top of their needs. When you have high-quality partners in your program who consistently send you regular customers, it’s essential to gauge their satisfaction. You want them to be happy and continue advocating for your brand. 

Questioning your affiliates gives them the chance to share their thoughts. It lets you identify and fix potential issues that might otherwise cause them to leave your program. It also helps you strengthen your program and market it to attract better partners. 

‌Using a survey helps you get quality data without taking the time to interview all your affiliates individually. If you notice a particular answer that warrants a follow-up, you can always conduct supplemental conversations. 

How To Survey Affiliates

  • Set your goals.
  • Develop your questions.
  • ‌Create the survey.
  • ‌Analyze your data.

1. Set Your Goals

Rather than immediately jumping on Survey Monkey, Google, or another tool and writing a series of questions, take some time to set goals. Figure out what you want to know and tailor your questions to address your objectives. 

If there’s one aspect of your program that you’ve changed based on past responses, ask your affiliates about it. Give them the chance to tell you if your changes are working or if you need to regroup.

2. Develop Your Questions

People generally won’t finish a survey if it’s too long. Carefully and succinctly word questions to address your goals, letting you keep your questionnaire short while allowing you to gather valuable data. 

Affiliate survey questions should be structured to garner useful information. Ask open-ended questions that give participants the chance to elaborate. Supplement these with basic qualitative questions that let you measure satisfaction levels. 

Sample qualitative questions include: 

  • ‌How long have you been an affiliate?
  • ‌Rate our commission structure.
  • ‌Rate our customer service level.

Encourage your affiliate partners to expand on what they like and don’t like about your program. Don’t ask yes or no questions. Ask them in a way that leads to specific answers — you want each partner to think through their response. For example:

Instead of: “Do you think we can improve our affiliate program?” 

‌Ask: “In what ways can we improve our affiliate program?”  

Your goals will determine what you ask, but you should cover some general topics like: 

  • ‌Overall satisfaction levels
  • ‌Customer service effectiveness
  • ‌Onboarding
  • ‌Commission structure

If you have a record of past communication with your affiliates, look through your notes to see if there’s a common issue that needs to be addressed. Ask questions related to these subjects for helpful feedback. 

3. Create the Survey

Once you’ve developed your questions, you can build the survey online with Google FormsSurvey Monkey, or a similar platform. Pick a tool that’s user-friendly and easy to fill out. Your affiliates won’t be as likely to respond if the process is difficult. 

‌‌Choose a program that works well with your questions. It should let you enter multiple-choice answers, enabling affiliates to provide ratings for specific issues. These questions should also include a box underneath so respondents can indicate why they chose a particular rating. Encourage them to share their thoughts with you.  

‌‌Send a test message to yourself and other people in your company so you can check the survey for clarity, grammatical errors, and ease of use. ‌‌

4. Analyze Your Data

When you’ve distributed your survey, let your affiliates know how long they have to complete it. You could keep it open for a week or two — or longer if your affiliates tend to be less responsive. If you haven’t received many responses in a week, send out a reminder email. 

‌‌Collect your responses and analyze the data. Many platforms offer analysis reports, saving you time and effort. If you’ve chosen a platform that doesn’t automatically generate charts, export the data into a spreadsheet and use it to visually represent answers to important questions. 

Charts and other graphics will highlight common responses. You might see that 65% of your affiliates were unhappy with the commission structure or that 15% were frustrated with the onboarding process. 

‌‌For the open-ended responses, use a word cloud generator to see which topics pop up most frequently. With this tool, you can input each open-ended response into a generator. The words that are mentioned most often will appear bigger in the overall image. 

Use an Affiliate Survey to Improve Your Program 

A survey is a crucial component of assessing your affiliates’ satisfaction with your program. Use the results to identify potential pain points and develop ideas to address them. 

‌‌For example, if you notice that a high percentage of respondents are dissatisfied with your commission structure, do some competitive analysis to see how it stacks up. You might find out that you’re on the low end, and that’s why your affiliates are unhappy

‌‌Your affiliate survey could show you that your program lacks brand awareness. New applications might be sparse because potential affiliates can’t find your program. In this case, you might conclude that you need to improve your marketing campaign. 

‌‌LeadDyno can help you refine your affiliate program. We have tools you can use to recruit affiliates, and you can use your survey data to enhance your message.